Following the former Preds on free agency day….
- Updated: July 1, 2010
The Nashville Predators organization may have signed two players today but three former Preds have changed addresses too.
Dan Hamhuis, who started the month of June in Nashville, has been a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Vancouver Canucks over the past couple of weeks. Hammer finally signed with the Canucks today in a six year deal worth $4.5 million per year. In other words, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter money. (Which leads to the question, what will the Predators have to pay Weber to keep him next summer? But, that’s another topic for another day.) Of all the defensemen that were signed on July 1, only Sergei Gonchar got more money per year than Hamhuis. The 36-year old Russian will get $5.5 million a season.
Pred Nation’s favorite back-up Dan Ellis found the best possible new home for his career. The Twitterer inked a two year deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning where he’ll reportedly compete for the starting job with Mike Smith. But really, Ellis should be the starter going into camp as Smith hasn’t exactly been stellar, posting a sub-par .900 save percentage and a pretty weak 3.09 goals against average last season.
It’ll be just like old times in the Tampa Bay crease. Smith and Ellis were teammates on the Iowa Stars back in 2005-06 and both were originally drafted by the Dallas Stars organization. Ellis was a second rounder in 2000 while Smith was a fifth rounder a year later.
Even former Predator goaltender Chris Mason was part of the free agent frenzy as he signed with the Atlanta Thrashers on Thursday. Atlanta is a good fit for Mason as he’ll be relied on to either split time with goalie-in-waiting Ondrej Pavelec or start the season as their starter until Pavelec is ready to take over.
Nashville did announce the signings of Swedish winger Jonas Andersson and defensive prospect Teemu Laakso but there’s still no word on Patric Hornqvist or Cody Franson putting pen to paper. Andersson’s contract is a one-way deal while Laakso’s allows him to be sent to the AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals.